CPS student dies of meningitis; High School closed for the day

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A CPS high school is closed today after a Chicago teen died from bacterial meningitis.

Savon Smith, 16, was found dead in his bed Monday morning by his mother, Nicole Smith.

She says the teen complained of headaches throughout the weekend and was very lethargic but he did not show any other signs of meningitis, like a stiff neck or rash.

Smith says she has no idea how her oldest son contacted the illness.

Smith attended Lindblom Math and Science Academy in the West Englewood neighborhood.

The school’s principal, Alan Mather, says he was informed of the death on Tuesday.    He says he decided to close the school Wednesday before the Cook County Medical Examiner was able to confirm which type of meningitis killed Smith.

CPS says bacterial meningitis is not contagious, unlike viral meningitis.   However, crews will be at Lindblom Wednesday to clean and disinfect the entire building.  Mather says it was closed as a precaution and there have been no other reports of students or staff contracting meningitis.

Mayor Emanuel’s office released a statement saying, “The mayor extends his deepest sympathies and condolences to the family of Savon Smith, who died this week from bacterial meningitis.”

Parents are reminded to keep an eye out for any meningitis symptoms, including headaches, a stiff neck, rash, sudden high fever, confusion, sensitivity to light and vomiting or nausea.

Meningitis is an inflammation of the membranes of the brain and spinal cord.  Bacterial meningitis is rare but can be treated if caught early.

Lindblom Math and Science Academy will be open Thursday.

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1 Comment

  • Trish

    what a shame, my thoughts and prayers to the family…….this is a hard thing to diagnos, you dont think much of it at first and then it is too late……….just awful.